PERCUSSIVE NOTES (June 1998), p. 70
Ed Macans Hermetic Science
Magnetic Oblivion Records
It is unclear in what sense Macans music relates to "Hermetic Science." The word "hermetic" can be associated with the Gnostic writings of the early Christian era, with general occultism or abstruseness, or can simply mean being impervious to outside influence (hermetically sealed). When I listen to this CD I just hear interesting, creative, and well-crafted music in a variety of eclectic styles. Much of the material is obviously influenced by the so-called "progressive rock" style, but these influences are combined with elements that arent so familiar in contemporary progressive rockspatial jazz, minimalism, Arabic and North Indian music, essences of Renaissance church music.
The other element that makes this music unique is the dominance of percussion. Except for electric bass and piano (which we all know is really a percussion instrument) the whole recording is done with percussion. While a wide variety of percussion instruments are used, the textures are often transparent, with the vibes being accompanied only by bass and drumset. This is particularly evident in Macans arrangement of Holsts "Mars, the Bringer of War" from The Planets. It is amazing how effectively this orchestral piece translates to this very basic instrumentation, and how similar it sounds to much progressive rock music.